LAMBS TO THE COSMIC SLAUGHTER
Agh…w-what? Huh? Where am I? WHO am I? What are…what is…I don’t understand what I’m supposed to…
…look, for whoever is reading this, I don’t remember anything about…well, anything. I have no idea where I am or what I should do here. Actually, wait, something’s coming to me…this week’s episode of Rick and Morty. Guess since it’s all I know, I might as well talk about it. Maybe give some feedback while I try to piece together my life.
Overview (SPOILERS BELOW)
So, Rick and Morty are about to finish up another reality-warping adventure while being chased by someone who vaguely looks like a character from a popular 90’s comic, when Morty gazes into something called a Truth Tortoise. After returning home, Rick tries to get Morty to watch some more Interdimensional Cable as they usually do for the 8th episode of a given season, but Morty is still freaking from the tortoise. Luckily Rick, as always, has a solution: removing the memories from Morty’s brain so he can stay sane. And it’s apparently been done before MANY times, going by all the vials.
The first chosen memory (and apparently the first time Morty has asked to have his mind erased) is titled “Moonspiracy”. In it, Morty spies a literal man on the moon who seems to be threatening him. The next day at school, the man appears at school as a guidance counselor named Mr. Lunas, making ominous moon puns and planting American flags in his front yard. Morty confronts Principal Vagina (no relation) about this, who sends the guy packing. Morty finds out later that Lunas has taken his own life, was a retired marine, and from a certain angle, looked like a smudge.
Next, in “Morty’s Menagerie” Rick and Morty are trapped in a zoo until Rick sends a message out to Earth to get two naïve astronomers to take their place. Then in “The Whole Enchilada”, Morty’s questioning of the afterlife leads an alien seeking an honorable death to doubt his religion, which then sends him to hell.
Morty wonders if he should be learning anything from these bundles of revelations, but Rick says this is a freeform anthology, enunciating this by throwing him into “Poop AIDS_copy”. Beth picks Summer over Morty in a hostage situation, Morty almost hacks up an alien parasite but can’t because his family is unable to fake love, Rick hacks open a cuddly animal when he thinks they’re on the wrong planet, etc. In the present, Morty begins to realize something: Rick has been manipulating him with the memories he takes away. Enraged, he tackles him, getting them both caught in the memory erasing ray and completely forgetting who they both are.
Trying to retrace their steps, Morty tries remembering things among the vials, basically giving him back every memory he or Rick didn’t want him to have without any of the stuff he wanted to keep. Every Dick Rick move, every Morty Mistake, everything he ever wanted to forget all flooding back. Eventually, Morty reaches for Rick’s gun and plans to end it all in dramatic suicide, and Rick, despite still having NO memories aside from Men in Black 2, decides to join him.
And then in walks Summer, who realizes this is a “scenario four” and basically resets everything for them mentally and gets thanked with a flurry of insults. No wonder this season was behind schedule.
Uh…well, this episode kinda plays on the idea that people, at their core, are really just defined by their memories and experiences. What we are willing to remember or repress drastically impacts the course of our personality and our lives. By allowing Morty to forget unpleasant experiences that he can’t live with (or that are solely embarrassing for Rick and dilute his place of authority in Morty’s eyes), Rick can basically keep Morty as his unwitting sidekick forever. Because if Morty doesn’t remember them, and Rick doesn’t acknowledge them, they didn’t happen, right?
So, I’d say this was a pretty good alternative to Interdimensional Cable. The first was a good exploration of alternate realities with instantly quotable improv, while the second was mainly just the latter, but this is a good examination of both Morty’s character and the nature of memories and their connection to identity.
You can also gleam some little lessons from the first few stories, if you want, but as Rick says, this is a freeform anthology. Essentially, like every ultimate lesson in this show, everything is random chaotic in this universe and nothing means anything!
Oh god…it’s all coming back to me now. I watched this episode and it dawned on me that life has no meaning! I CAN’T GO ON LIKE THIS! I need to erase this review from my memory right after I score the episode!